A recent study commissioned by the state LGBT Chamber of Commerce found businesses with LGBT representation in senior leadership report better firm performance than those without.
Companies with one or more LGBT leaders reported greater levels of corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility, quality of workforce and firm performance.
Participants were asked to respond to questions on a five-point ratings scale. The survey included 73 questions, focused on LGBT representation in leadership and topics like supportive workplace policies and corporate responsibility.
“Higher mean scores are an indication of higher organizational functioning whereas lower mean scores are an indication of an area with lower organizational functioning,” report authors said.
Industries represented include leisure and hospitality, business services, financial services and retail. Of the survey participants, 61 percent had one or more LGBT people in leadership; 48 percent had one or more people of color in leadership; and 86 percent had one or more women leaders.
The study was performed by Jennica Webster, an associate professor in the college of business at Marquette University. The survey was sent out to 579 LGBT Chamber member companies, and get responses from 88 of them. Of those respondents, the average total number of employees was about 2,200.
“This study supports what we have been saying for years — having LGBT people in leadership positions, whether it as a CEO, a business owner, a part of senior management or on the board of directors, is good for a business’s bottom line,” said Jason Rae, chamber president and CEO and one of the report’s authors. “Simply put, diversity is good for business.”
This claim isn’t a new one. Previous research from Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found LGBT-supportive policies are linked to improved business performance.
That UCLA research also showed policies like these are linked to greater job commitment, improved professional relationships, increased satisfaction and even improved health outcomes among LGBT employees. Researchers found these employees are less likely to face discrimination in environments with LGBT-supportive policies, and are more comfortable being open about their orientation.
–By Alex Moe